Katie Collins/Ulysses Garcia

Getting Divorced? Break Out the Streamers and Balloons

July 12, 2009 10:00 AM
by Shannon Firth
Celebrating the end of a marriage may seem morbid at first, but bakers, event planners and some divorcees say there’s strength in acceptance.

Saying “I Don’t”

Beatriz Otero, who runs a Florida bakery called Elite Cake Creations with her brother Jorge Garcia, went through a difficult divorce 5 years ago and recently added “divorce cakes” to the bakery’s offerings. 

The novelty cakes are a variation of the wedding cake, where instead of smiling groom and bride figurines standing side by side on the top, a male figure sits on a curb or a woman dangles her now ex-husband over a waterfall.

Otero, who admits her own divorce was painful, adds, “In no way are we encouraging or being flippant about a serious situation … [but] when people looking for closure are ready to move on, we can help them celebrate that.”

Entrepreneurs, authors and producers of films like “The First Wives Club”  are also profiting from the divorce industry. If you search the term “divorce party” on Amazon.com the site surfaces divorce-themed party coasters and signs, as well as plush voodoo dolls. Books include “How to Throw a Divorce Party” by Quick Easy Guides.  There’s also a site that sells wedding ring coffins; sample inscriptions include, “six feet isn’t deep enough.”

In March, The Guardian wrote about Brighton’s Starting Over Show (SOS) which held a “How to heal your broken heart” workshop, also known as a “divorce fair.” At the gathering over a thousand people had a chance to meet lawyers, life coaches and mystic healers, and register with introduction agencies.

Suzy Miller, 45, who organized the event, disagrees with those who say the divorce industry is “cashing in on misery.” Speaking of her own divorce, she said, “It left me with the self-esteem of a slug.”

Miller said her frustration was compounded by the lack of accessible resources. She wants others to see their own divorces as a “new beginning, and an opportunity to grow and change.”

The U.S. Census from 2002 reported that half of all marriages end in divorce. That said, this year might not be a boom year for the divorce industry, as the number of people divorcing is down slightly due to the recession and poor housing market, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Related Topic: Re-bachelor party; kidney transplant brings divorced couple back together

Alongside divorce parties, another trend has emerged to include the former groom. It’s called a re-bachelor party. In Toronto, Mike, no last name given, celebrated his re-bachelor party at a sports bar replete with antler chandeliers and posters of barely dressed women. Friends gifted him with a “single again” T-shirt, a set of Chinese steel balls and a book written by a pickup artist.

In most cases divorce represents a permanent separation for both individuals, but there are always exceptions. Seventeen years after they divorced, Jim and Bernadette Tobin fell back in love when Bernadette gave Jim her kidney, saving his life.

Reference: Getting divorced


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines